Monday, May 26, 2014

African Development Bank meeting calls for equity in water use via the New Times (Rwanda): Experts from the just concluded African Development Bank (AfDB) annual meetings have said that even with declining rainfall and unpredictable climate, African governments can still effectively manage and provide clean water.

The observation was made during a session dubbed 'Building Water Resilience,' where experts and government officials reflected on water-related challenges that Africa faces today and how they can be dealt with. Key issues ranged from cooperation between countries that share same water bodies to water security.

"We can't ignore the fact that water contributes highly to national economy. There are many public goods embedded in water, but the question here is how effective can it be allocated? The answer to this is devising a way in which the public sector can work with the private sector in water resource management and exploitation," said Prof Mike Muller, the Infrastructure Advisor, Development Bank of Southern Africa.

Muller cited the construction of Rusumo hydro power plant as one of the few examples where the private sector has been involved in water management through involvement of local people in the construction of the plant.

The high rate of urbanization is another challenge. Latest reports indicate that over 400 million Africans live in urban areas - close to 40% of Africa's population. In 50 years, about 65% of Africans will be living in urban areas...

Lake Mhindi in Rwanda, shot by Abhishek Singh, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under Creative Commons 2.0 license 

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